Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A recap of a busy December

December was such a busy month for our family. I really meant to post weekly and keep up, but it just never happened.  Here's a recap of some of our many activities.

Monday December 9th Matthew turned 15. I can't believe it has been 15 years since the night he was born.  He has an interesting birth story.  I knew at lunch time the day Matthew was born that labor would start soon.  I took a nap in the afternoon and thought that I hadn't felt the baby move much that day.  I had a Primary Presidency meeting planned for that evening and Neil was supposed to take the Young Men to play raquetball.  We didn't do either of those, we went to the hospital instead. When we got to the hospital the Dr. didn't like how his heart rate wasn't fluctuating at all. They decided to shock him and see if that helped his heart rate.  It helped some, but I could tell that the Dr. and nurses were nervous about how things were going. One nurse told me that the baby wasn't liking labor at all.  They started to talk about what we needed to do and the possibility of a C section.  Luckily for Matthew and for me, he was born on the very next contraction.  I just told the Dr. to catch the baby because he was coming now.  He was on tangled up baby! Dr. Ellis said he had never seen a baby so wrapped up in his cord. He must have been turning somersaults.  The only place the cord had pulled tight was around his ankle.  He had a bruised ankle for the first several months of life.  I felt very blessed to have a baby to hold and love.  He was a sweet and good baby.  So loved by his three older sisters.  He has grown into a fine young man.  I really enjoy Matthew's sense of humor and listening to him share his vast trivial knowledge. I also love how he wears a BYU shirt almost every day, just like I used to. I am proud to be his mama.  I love you, Matthew! 
We made his tradition Death by Chocolate birthday cake, and he requested deer steaks for dinner.  It was a fun day to celebrate an important birth. Happy Birthday, Matthew!

Along with turning 15 comes getting a driving permit.  Neil took Matthew to Cody on Thursday after his birthday to take the driving test.  He passed and came home with his permit.  He is a good driver and really likes to drive.  Friday after getting his permit he asked me if there wasn't anywhere I needed to go so he could drive.

December also meant school concerts.  Emma had a concert on December 10th and David's was December 17th.  Both of the concerts fell on evenings that Neil had to teach. He barely made it as the 7th grade band was getting started. Emma was glad he could get there.  He didn't make it to David's because his class had their final that evening and the test went long.  Both Emma and David did great! It was the first time David has done a school concert. It was fun to go back and watch a Parkside program. They still did some of the same songs the older girls did when they went to Parkside.  Fun memories!  Bethany and Julia enjoyed watching Parkside again.  Christmas music and concerts are always fun. I'll include video of the concerts in the slideshow below.

We had a great time decorating the house together. We wanted to have Bethany home to help and with busy schedules we didn't get it done as early as most years.  I love watching the children get excited about getting the decorations out and feeling their excitement. It was a fun evening together.  We made cookies and had hot chocolate while decorating.  Good times together!

Rebecca flew home for Christmas on Monday the 23rd.  We were so excited to have her here with us for a few days!  Christmas could finally come because everyone was here together.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were perfect (at least until we went downstairs to put kids to bed on Christmas night and discovered the sump pump had flooded).  I loved  having everyone here together.  We did our traditional Christmas Eve activities and dinner.  We had ham, potato soup, clam chowder, rolls, cheeseball, red jello and green punch.  It was delicious! We all took part in our annual Christmas Eve concert, even Mom who forgot to practice much and wasn't sure the song she was playing was the one she practiced.  We also read the Christmas story from the Bible.  Next, we headed out to look at the Christmas lights around town in our slippers.  When we got home the children watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas on tv. Lydia LOVES the Grinch! She watched the animated classic every chance she got.  This was the first time she saw the live action version. She was so excited to see baby Grinchy and was enthralled to stay up late and watch.  Our tradition is for the children to wait at the bottom of the stairs for Mom and Dad to come get them for Christmas.  7:00 am is the set time for us to come down.  It is fun to listen to them talk and sing as they wait for us.  I love Christmas morning!  Everyone was happy with what they gave and received for Christmas.  I love to watch the children as one of the gifts they have bought for someone is opened. They get so excited to see how much the person receiving the gift will like it. They love giving gifts.
Eagerly waiting to see what Santa brought

Joshua's wish for his birthday was to hold a real baby puppy.  I mentioned it to our neighbor, Tina, who is a dog lover. I figured she might know someone who had puppies.  She took it seriously that he wanted to hold a puppy. She thought it was the sweetest thing she had heard.  She found a couple from Frannie (about 45 minutes away) and talked to them.  They were kind enough to agree to bring their family and two puppies to our house on Christmas day.  Joshua held the puppies a little bit, but he didn't stay with it for too long.  Rebecca and Emma loved holding the puppies. They were totally surprised when I let the puppies come in the house.  It was so sweet of the family to spend part of their Christmas sharing their puppies with us. They offered to let us buy one at a reduced rate, but we said no thanks.

Friday Neil, Matthew and MaryAnne took Rebecca back to Cody to fly home.  It was so great to have her here with us for Christmas! She had to get home to pack up her stuff and move to another house.  She and her roommates are moving as soon as they can.

December was also busy with clogging performances.  We have one last one today.  Emma and I drove home from the first performance in the worst snowstorm I have ever driven in. It didn't help that the power was out in our subdivision and I couldn't see any houses.  We made it home, but we had to stop a time or two and decide if we should go on or not.

We also made a trip to Bozeman to pick up our van.  Neil drove the van and I drove the Kia.  Matthew, Julia and Emma went with us because we went after a youth temple trip to Billings. Bethany was good to come and stay the day with the younger children. It was an all day trip.  It was interesting that when we stopped to get gas part way home the Kia wouldn't start.  We had to jump it at the gas station.  We had just bought a new battery and it was no good. The store tested it and then replaced it for us.  Now both cars are running which is a good thing.

Here is a slideshow of December pictures and happenings. Hope you enjoy seeing what is happening at the Waite house.  We hope each of you had a Merry Christmas!!

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The weather outside is frightful!!

Yesterday our high temperature was 57 degrees, and then a storm started to blow in. Last night was our clogging Christmas recital.  The weather was awful!! At least we were in doors.  We drove home in the worst blizzard I have ever driven in.  I had to stop several times because I couldn't see a thing.  The power was out in our subdivision so there were no lights on to let us see where home was.  The power came back on just as we found our driveway. I was grateful to see the lights and get home.  Our weather forecast is for below zero temperatures all week with wind chills making it even colder.  We will be glad to stay in and decorate for Christmas.  We are looking forward to hot chocolate, cookies and Christmas stories during this frightful weather.

Our weather forecast for the week looks frightfully cold

Our Thanksgiving adventure

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays!! I love cooking and baking with the children the day before so we don't have much besides cooking the turkey on Thursday.  We usually have a grateful tree.  Each of us writes things we are grateful on leaves and we glue them on the tree throughout the month of November.  I love concentrating on being grateful, good food and family.  This year Rebecca couldn't come home so we sent her money to buy what she wanted to eat for Thanksgiving.  We missed her, and are so glad she is coming for Christmas.  We skyped with Grandpa and Grandma in Scotland on their mission.  Being able to keep in touch with them while they are gone is one of the many blessings I am grateful for.  Modern communication is amazing!!

We had Brother Ogburn over for dinner and enjoyed his company.  We had plenty of delicious food.  We made 5 kinds of pies and all the other yummy Thanksgiving foods.  Julia and Emma look forward to pink jello salad all year because we only make it at Thanksgiving.  It was a wonderful day!!

Friday we  drove to Ashton to be with the Waite family. It was fun to see Grandma Karan and Grandpa JimMolly and Scott, Gerry and Valerie, Blaine, Candice and the nieces and nephews.  The children went sledding down Grandma's hill and had a great time together.  There were lots of games played, good conversation and catching up with each other. It was wonderful!!!

We left early Saturday afternoon to get ahead of a coming storm.  It was a great plan, but it didn't work out quite like we planned.  About 5 miles outside of Bozeman, Montana the van made a very loud popping noise and got very loud.  We didn't know what was wrong and decided against heading into a storm not being sure the van would keep running.  We got a recommendation of a mechanic in Bozeman and left the van there.  We called a friend in the ward with a vehicle big enough to bring all of us home.  Julia and Bethany had stayed at home so we asked them to drive the Clark's suburban and come to get us.  We were 200 miles from home so we had quite a wait in Bozeman. Brother Clark decided to drive himself rather than have Bethany and Julia try to make the trip. The girls were very glad they didn't have to drive.  We walked a little over  a mile to Walmart in Bozeman and waited there.  You can find all kinds of things to buy when you spend close to two hours walking around Walmart.  The children did really well and didn't ask for too much.  We were just glad to have somewhere to wait and that Brother Clark was willing to come and rescue us.  It will be a Thanksgiving trip the children won't forget.  The funny thing is that when we drove through Bozeman on our way to Idaho the children said not to stop there because that is where the van breaks down.  We told them that was Riverton where we had problems before and it was fine to stop in Bozeman.  We should have listened to them.  We got home about midnight instead of 7:00 like we had planned, but we made it and felt grateful to be home.  It was an adventure!!!

The four day birthday (Happy Birthday, David)

David was born the day after Thanksgiving eleven years ago. This year his birthday fell on the day after Thanksgiving.  It was kind of interesting timing to celebrate his birthday because we were going to Idaho to be with the Waite family that day.  He decided he wanted to have his cake on Wednesday (he baked his cakes himself), his presents on Thursday, Friday was the real day even though we were traveling, and Saturday Grandma Karan had a cake for him.  He managed to spread the party and fun out over four days.

I can't believe David is eleven. He recently earned his Arrow of Light in Webelos and crossed over the bridge to join the Scout troop.  He is an easy going, fly under the radar kind of boy.  He loves playing with his K'nex and working with his hands. He loves to help Neil with any kind of fix it or build it project. David keeps us laughing and smiling. He is a smart and considerate boy. We are grateful to have him in our family.

Happy Birthday, David!!! We love you!!